Giacomo Raspadori’s 93rd-minute volley gave Napoli a dramatic 1-0 win against Juventus on Sunday, securing a rare Serie A double over the Bianconeri.
A remarkable conclusion to the match in Turin was entirely at odds with everything that had gone before, a dull first 70 minutes suggesting the two clubs were taking a collective breath at the end of a manic week.
Juve are back into the top four following their successful initial appeal of an earlier points deduction, while Napoli’s full focus is on the Scudetto after crashing out of the Champions League.
If a point then perhaps suited both sides, neither showed it, with Juve twice having the ball in the net in the closing stages before Raspadori grabbed what might be considered a deserved winner.
#ForzaNapoliSempre #TuttoPerLei pic.twitter.com/OVitk2SFQ8
— Official SSC Napoli (@sscnapoli) April 23, 2023
This encounter was certainly nothing like the reverse fixture, which runaway league leaders Napoli had dominated to win 5-1.
Indeed, the Partenopei created precious little until Victor Osimhen saw three chances come and go in quick succession in the second half.
The forward had a low shot deflected off the outside of the post with 20 minutes remaining, then nodded straight at Wojciech Szczesny from the resulting corner.
Osimhen lifted a first-time effort over the crossbar soon afterwards, and that miss might have proved costly when Angel Di Maria netted a deflected strike on the counter, only for the VAR to highlight a marginal foul in the build-up.
Dusan Vlahovic was also denied after scoring as Federico Chiesa had run the ball out of play, but it looked as though Napoli’s last chance had been squandered by Osimhen again when Szczesny saved well.
Seconds later, though, Eljif Elmas crossed from the right, and Raspadori hammered a low strike between the goalkeeper’s legs to snatch the points.
What does it mean? Double delight for Napoli
This was not a game that will live long in the memory, but Raspadori’s goal surely will.
The decisive strike gave Napoli just their fourth ever Serie A double over Juventus and their first since 2009-10.
Juve may not be their title rivals this season – even if they would have improbably gone second with a win – but victories over the Bianconeri are always warmly received in Naples.
Wasteful Osimhen not made to pay
Osimhen is Serie A’s top scorer this season, so Napoli would have hoped their best chances fell his way.
As it was, his repeated failure to hit the net could well have cost the Serie A frontrunners. Osimhen’s six shots worth a combined 0.7 xG were a game high.
Napoli escape Lobotka controversy
Although Stanislav Lobotka won six of his 11 duels, he looked to be beaten to the ball in the game’s biggest flashpoint prior to the winner.
That was in the build-up to Di Maria’s disallowed goal, with referee Michael Fabbri controversially ruling Lobotka had been fouled by Arkadiusz Milik, even if the replays at the pitchside monitor were far from conclusive.
Key Opta Facts
– Giacomo Raspadori’s goal after 92 minutes and 48 seconds is the latest goal scored by a Napoli player against Juventus in Serie A since Opta collected this type of data (2004-05).
– Juventus have lost three Serie A games in a row for the first time since period between March 2011.
– Napoli have won both Serie A matches against Juventus in this campaign, completing a top-flight double over them for the fourth time.
– Napoli have won a Serie A match away against Juventus for the first time since April 2018.
Now 17 points clear of second-placed Lazio, Napoli could win the title as soon as next weekend, when they face Salernitana. Juventus visit Inter in the Coppa Italia semi-finals in midweek.
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